After a long month in Italy my wife and I selected a hotel near the Fiumicino Airport (Rome) for our last night before travel. However the hotel was not within walking distance. The hotel was 7.1 kilometers distant requiring a bus, shuttle or taxi ride to the hotel. We, after learning that the location did not have bus service, decided to taxi to our hotel. The cab companies that serve Fiumicino are all very well parsed on the basis of territorial service and stick to their routes and collude on fees. First sign of beware. The "Rome" licensed taxis told us that we must use the local licensed taxi service, that is Fiumicino Commune. (Fiumicino, the town is where our hotel was located.) So I approached the driver of the local Fiumicino licensed cab (and here is what is most important: READ ALL THE TIPS IN RICK STEVES' TRAVEL GUIDES!) and asked what the fare would be from the airport to the hotel. I already had a cost in mind, as emailed to me by the hotel that the normal price was 20 Euros and at busy times to pay NO more than 25 Euros. The cab driver blithely quoted me 35 Euros. I told him that this was absurd, and would not pay this. Then after an hour searching for alternate transportation, I noticed a second Fiumicino licensed cab with a woman driver parked in the service lot, so I asked her what the fare would be to our hotel, and her quote of 30 Euros was also absurd, and she said this was the "standard" fare (you see they refuse to use their meter....wondrer why?). After another frustrating hour looking for a ride, my wife and I returned to the first driver and said Okay, we will pay the 30 Euro but no more. He said Okay...and the woman drive watched as we loaded our luggage into the man's cab. And now following Rick Steves' advice, I leaned over and took a picture of the cab's city badge and cab number on the door so I could report our fleecing (again advice from Rick Steves on how to handle cab fraud). The woman driver and our man driver became furious, yelling (in Italian, which we did not understand but believe me we got the drift) that this was unacceptable to take a picture and I was to delete it immediatley or they would not provide a ride. I refused so the cabbie threw our luggage into the street and when I entered the cab he grabbed me by the arm and told me to get out, all the while yelling obsentities. I got out and my wife and I collected our luggage, once again without transportation.
However when looking for a lift, I spotted two Carbinieri (police officers) strolling in the airport arrival area and being pretty mad about our situation asked where I could report taxi fraud. One of the officers (who spoke English) said what happened and at that point I told him the story and showed him the iPhone photo. He immediately signaled me to follow him and he, his partner, my wife and I went off to confront the taxi drivers (boy was that tense). After a short and heated discussion with the man taxi driver, who once again refused to help us, the Carbinieri had a chat with the woman driver and she capitulated and agreed to give us a ride, at "half price fare" of 20 Euro. Short story: she did give us the ride, and she received no tip to end our unhappy experience.
My advice: Read Rick Steves, great advice besides just Taxis, ask for help, yes there are honest people who help, and don't give in to the scoundrels. This was not the way to end our vacation but it was a happy ending. Oh, and ask your hotel for advice, they are the best and they can schedule rides that offer fair and equitable prices.